While Lewis Hamilton shocked at the front of the field by securing pole for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by well over half a second, there was another surprise at the rear of the pack after Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi only managed to qualify on the penultimate row of the grid.
Sutil had performed strongly during practice at Yas Marina but suffered with a lack of grip and poor handing when qualifying kicked off and could only manage a disappointing 18th place – having gone into the session aiming to make it through to Q3.
“A very short session with a lot of problems,” he said. “The car didn't seem to have any grip at all, particularly on the rear, and there was just so much oversteer that I was just struggling to keep the car on the circuit. I'm obviously very disappointed and we need to figure out what happened. The focus will now be on the race; there's still a long way to go and of course I will try my best to get a good result.”
Team-mate Liuzzi didn't fare much better as he posted the 17th quickest time and like his German team-mate, the Italian was left to rue a lack of grip that had hit his chances.
“After we changed the tyres for the second run we had a strange problem in that the grip was not there any more,” he said. “It felt weird to drive with so much less grip compared to the run before. Usually the tracks improve as we run more but this was very strange. We should have been in Q2 so we have to understand how this happened - whether it was the tyres or the tyre pressures, we need to work on this now.
“For sure with a lot of fuel we showed a really good performance yesterday but starting so far back will not make it easy, although in Brazil we did show that we can get very close to the points from this position. It will be difficult but I think tenth will be possible tomorrow, but points are always the aim.”